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13.3: Summary and Final Tasks

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    In the first part of Module 10, you learned about some of the formal concepts around food systems seen either as food production, transport, and consumption chains, and as types of coupled natural-human systems, and explored these concepts using real examples: food products as windows into production and transport chains, and food system examples from around the United States and the world. In the second part, module 10.2, you learned about and practiced a skill for measuring impacts of food production activities and other human processes on the environment: Life cycle analysis. These are vital tools that you can use to understand human-environmental linkages that pertain to food, one of the main goals of section III of this course.

    Reminder - Complete all of the Module 10 tasks!

    You have reached the end of Module 10! Double-check the to-do list on the Module 10 Roadmap to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Module 11.

    References and Further Reading

    Altieri, M. A., Funes-Monzote, F. R., & Petersen, P. (2012). Agroecologically efficient agricultural systems for smallholder farmers: contributions to food sovereignty. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 32(1), 1-13.

    Cooper, J. M., Butler, G., & Leifert, C. (2011). Life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from organic and conventional food production systems, with and without bio-energy options. Njas-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 58(3), 185-192.

    Ericksen, P. J. (2008). Conceptualizing food systems for global environmental change research. Global Environmental Change, 18(1), 234-245

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 1997. "Chapter 3: The food system and household food security” in Agriculture food and nutrition for Africa - A resource book for teachers of agriculture. Available at the document website of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (

    Hinrichs, C. C. (2003). The practice and politics of food system localization.Journal of rural studies, 19(1), 33-45.

    IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development): Investing in smallholder family agriculture for global food security and nutrition. IFAD -2015 Policy Brief 3, 2013.

    Liu, J., Dietz, T., Carpenter, S. R., Folke, C., Alberti, M., Redman, C. L.,& Provencher, W. (2007). Coupled human and natural systems. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 36(8), 639-649.

    NCAT/ATTRA: Life Cycle Assessment of Agricultural Systems. Available at:

    Netting, R. M. (1993). Smallholders, householders: farm families and the ecology of intensive, sustainable agriculture. Stanford University Press.

    P. Pinstrup Andersen and D. D. Watson. 2011. Toward a dynamic global food system”. In: Food Policy for Developing Countries: The Role of Government in Global, National and Local Food Systems, 1-25

    Sage, Colin. 2011. “Final foods and their consequences” Ch. 5 in Environment & Food. Routledge, 2011.

    This page titled 13.3: Summary and Final Tasks is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Heather Karsten & Steven Vanek (John A. Dutton: e-Education Institute) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.